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Detective Inspector given award for combating wildlife crime

By Emma Hamilton

DI Stuart received a special commendation yesterday

A DETECTIVE Inspector has received a special commendation for his dedication to tackling wildlife crime.

The Inspector from Lothian and Borders police was presented with the commendation yesterday Thursday, Feb 2 by the Environment Minister Richard Benyon MP from the Internation Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Detective Inspector Brian Stuart, who is Head of the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) based in Livingston, has been given IFAW’s Wildlife Crime Enforcement Award which recognises outstanding efforts in combating wildlife crime.

IFAW has worked closely with DI Stuart on a range of wildlife issues and was keen to recognise some of his key achievements such as ensuring that the NWCU continues to receive UK Government funding in recognition of its vital work to combat illegal wildlife activities.

IFAW said: “Through DI Stuart’s guidance, the unit has gone from strength to strength and has become a key player in the international arena of tackling wildlife crime.

“He has worked in partnership with IFAW adopting and developing IFAW’s approach to investigating illegal wildlife sales on the Internet.

“The NGO praised Brian’s leadership of INTERPOL’s Wildlife Crime Working Group and welcomes news that the NWCU has secured Government funding for a dedicated analyst to combat cybercrime.”

Detective Inspector Brian Stuart said: “This achievement recognises the excellent work of my team and the wider partnership that exists locally, nationally and internationally in fighting organised wildlife crime.

“Wildlife crime is truly local to global and requires a similar approach to deal with it.  The last three years has seen many challenges that without the support of organisations such as IFAW would have been that more difficult to overcome.”

Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police, David Strang, said: “I am delighted that Detective Inspector Brian Stuart’s hard work and dedication has been recognised by an international organisation.

“The work of the National Wildlife Crime Unit, which is based in our Force area has impacted at a local, national, and international level in terms of targeting wildlife offenders, and I hope this commendation will inspire his colleagues to continue the good work in the future.”

Environment Minister Richard Benyon MP, commented: “I was immensely proud to present the commendations to Detective Inspector Brian Stuart and Chief Constable Richard Crompton.

“The work being done to tackle wildlife crime is vitally important in protecting our valuable natural resources and their commitment deserves the highest recognition.”

Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW, said: “We are delighted to be able to highlight the superb efforts of Brian Stuart and the team at the National Wildlife Crime Unit in combating wildlife crime.”

Brian leaves his post on 2 March 2012 to take on an equally challenging role in Lothian Borough Police, where he also started his career.

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